NAFTA negotiations are all but upon us and Florida’s U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio want to ensure Sunshine State agriculture gets a fair deal.
On Thursday, the two wrote a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, urging protecting of Florida’s agriculture industry from what they call “unfair trade practices,” especially regarding a “fair and equitable market” for Florida farm goods.
Rubio and Nelson want “regional growers to use seasonal data for antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases.”
The senators “are hopeful the Administration will use all means available to prevent Mexico from targeting regional growers in an effort to monopolize the U.S. market during certain seasons.”
Nelson and Rubio also invoke the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015; specifically, its call for “eliminating practices that adversely affect trade in perishable or cyclical products, while improving import relief mechanisms to recognize the unique characteristics of perishable and cyclical agriculture.”
“Failure to meet these objectives would clearly not meet the standards Congress has set for trade agreements and would threaten the viability of a renegotiated NAFTA,” the Senators contend.
“A modernized NAFTA that helps level the playing field for American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers will go a long way toward restoring faith in our trade agreements. Therefore, we ask that you give this request careful consideration and take meaningful steps throughout the remainder of these NAFTA negotiations to support American fruit and vegetable growers,” the letter concludes.